Wednesday, October 28, 2009

the little things...

Even though the weather has not quite stabilized here in the Palmetto state, I am loving these fall things!
  • Pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks and pumpkin spice coffee at the Stratton's
  • Honeycrisp apples and apple cider at the Fresh Market
  • OPI Kennebunk-Port nail polish
  • Chili back on the menu at DiPrato's
  • All the "CJ Spiller for Heisman" hype (vote now!) and a great Clemson OT win again the top ten Miami Hurricanes
  • Sweet Halloween package that arrived in the mail today from Richard...complete with candy for the candy jar in my office, fun new earrings and a Halloween monster mix CD, all in a bag that plays Ghostbusters when you open it- almost makes the long-distance worth it

Monday, October 19, 2009

baby love

So if I were completely honest, after the baby surge of 2008, when several of my friends had babies in close succession of each other, I was slightly jealous of their cute pregnant bellies, the constant kid conversations and comparisons, and their adorable bundles of joy, many of whom I met just hours after being born. I know God has a plan for me, but I sometimes feel a little behind in this area.

Kim was my freshman-year Holmes Hall roommate and has remained one of my dearest friends from Clemson. Though she lives in Minnesota now, we are still extremely close, and I consider her son Jackson to be a nephew of sorts. Kim and Jackson got to come to South Carolina for a visit this past weekend, and after spending wonderful time with them, I realized just how hard it is to raise a child!

Jackson was actually born on the third day of 2009, and we met when he was just six weeks old, then got to hang out again this summer, when Jackson was six months old. Those times, Jackson was just content to hang out in his carrier or stroller. But now as a nine month old, he is EXTREMELY mobile! As soon as we got to my parents' house in Spartanburg, after Jackson had been cooped up on a plane and in the car for several hours, he was off! He crawled everywhere and discovered things on the floor that had been there for who knows how long! Hunter the Dog loved Jackson, so we had to make sure Hunter was not overly affectionate. And had to feed him...more than just a bottle, but solid baby foods too- seemingly an easy task but made much more difficult by Jackson wanting to play with the spoon! And on Sunday at 7 am, after a full day of tailgating and football Saturday, Jackson was ready to go again. Beth went back to bed- Kim didn't get to.

The truth of the matter is that Jackson is an incredibly sweet, happy baby who made it through an entire football game, partially in the rain!, and who loves to smile, laugh, kick his feet and can easily cross a room in about 2.5 seconds. We all fell in love with him (again) this weekend and were so sad to see Kim and him go. And not only is Kim an incredible mom, she is in the middle of a challenging residency. That's what is incredible about all of my friends with babies. We got to spend some time with Jess, my junior and senior year Clemson roommate, her husband Paul, and her precious daughter Ella, pictured below. She has taught Ella sign language and Ella, just as a 14 m.o., can very clearly express what she wants- both by signing and verbally. But Jess also pours into her church and the youth group there, where Paul is a youth minister. And the list friends that are moms are successful attorneys, financial planners, graphic designers, logistic experts, higher ed administrators, teachers, counselors, nurses and physicians.

Ladies- you have set the bar high! I honestly don't know how you do it, but you never cease to amaze me. Kim, Jess, and anyone else, I will happily watch your sweet babies any time you want. And then, with a sigh of relief, hand them right back to you! And be content in the fact that my time will eventually come, right when it's supposed to.

Jackson watching the Tigers run down the Hill for the first time

Loving on Baby Jackson after a great Clemson victory over Wake

I loved seeing how much my mom and dad enjoyed Jackson

With Paul, Ella and Jess

sweet, tired babies

Hunter LOVED Jackson

great lunch with April at Jason's Deli on Sunday

Monday, October 5, 2009

Terps Topple the Tigers

I realize that there is more than to life than football. I really do. But when you travel to an away venue, the outcome from the football game can greatly impact the quality of your trip and how you will remember it. The Clemson- Alabama game, our season opener last year, ranks right up there among the worst three hours of my life. The Coke museum lost a lot of its allure the next day.

And so it was again this year with the Clemson-Maryland game. I was SO excited about having my whole family come and showing them Richard's home. I couldn't wait to watch the game with Richard and my parents and my brothers and see the Tigers get a divisional victory that they so needed. And yet, the game did nothing but frustrate our whole group, and the contingent of Clemson fans who had made the trek to cheer on the Tigers. Clemson had so many opportunities, yet could not capitalize on a single one. I thought this article in the Spartanburg paper summed up the current state of affairs well.

Despite the loss though, the weather was beautiful, everyone enjoyed our time together apart from the game, and Clemson still has a chance to win the division if our offense can find some inspiration. And if nothing else, now I know what it feels like to be a Carolina fan! Below are some pictures from the weekend:

Mom and Dad before the game- so cute in their orange!

Pretty ODK fountain on the University campus

Another campus shot

CU sideline

Still hopeful the Tigers can turn it around...

After we lost- this picture was very difficult to come by

With Miss Allison- who's boyfriend is on the football staff and is one person who was probably even more upset than we were!